By Courtney Baumann
Yet another lawsuit was filed Monday against the University of Iowa, contending that Athletics Director Gary Barta treats female coaches unfairly, the Associated Press has reported.
Several former Hawkeye coaches support the suit, which former head field-hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum filed. Barta fired Grisbaum in 2014 after some former players accused her of verbal harassment and bullying.
The university, however, did not find any policy violations and Griesbaum was paid a $200,000 buyout.
In the complaint, Griesbaum asked for her reinstatement and that Iowa take steps to make sure that female coaches are treated no differently from male coaches.
According to the lawsuit, the department “began a pattern of undermining, intimidating, and terminating coaches as well as covering up violations of the law to keep resources from women’s programs,” after Barta was hired for the position in 2006.
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The complaint is 26 pages long and provides details of other alleged discrimination by the Athletics Department. There are allegations that seven other women have been forced out by Barta, including former Senior Associate Athletics Director Jane Meyer. Meyer has also filed a suit; a law firm in Des Moines, Newkirk Zwagerman, represents both her and Griesbaum.
Barta has stuck to his contention that all the firings were justified because of poor records, but the lawsuit claims that he has kept male coaches for struggling baseball, tennis, and track teams.
The lawsuit has been rumored for months and comes at a strange time for Barta, who just signed an extension on his contract. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics also recently named him an athletics director of the year.
Investigators for the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education plan to visit Iowa City next month to look into the allegations that female athletes are not provided the same opportunities as male athletes.